A school’s leader matters enormously to its success—and the success of its students and teachers. But how well are U.S. districts identifying, recruiting, selecting, and placing the best possible candidates in their principals’ offices? And is attracting leaders to the job more than a district-level recruitment challenge? According to a new Fordham study, Lacking Leaders: The Challenges of Principal Recruitment, Selection, and Placement, the education sector’s overall approach to the principalship needs a makeover.

Key findings from our report include the following:

  • Principal-hiring practices—even in pioneering districts—continue to fall short of what is needed, effectively causing needy schools to lose out on leaders with the potential to be great
  • Districts must reconfigure the principal’s role so that it is a job talented leaders want and are equipped to execute successfully

Join the Fordham Institute for a panel discussion on the future of the school principalship and strategies to make it more appealing and manageable for topnotch leaders—as well as more effective for students.

Follow the conversation with @educationgadfly at #LackingLeaders

Eventbrite - The Student and the Stopwatch


Douglas W. Anthony
Executive Director, Office of Talent Development, Prince George's County Public Schools
Michael Casserly
Executive Director, Council of Great City Schools
Mike Miles
Superintendent of Schools, Dallas Independent School District
Allison Wagner
Director of Growth, Schools That Can Milwaukee


Chester E. Finn, Jr.
President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute